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Chewing on buck during FF

have an eight month old golden who I am currently force fetching by following "Training Retriever for Meadows and Marshes" by James Spencer. I am in the step right now of introducing the buck to the dog and telling him "fetch" when I insert it. However, the only problem I am having is that he tries to chew on the buck. I tried holding his bottom jaw to stop this but the only way I have found to stop this is to clamp down on both his top and bottom jaw to stop the chewing. I didn't know if this is the correct thing to do to stop the chewing or I should just praise him when he holds it without chewing and work slowly up from there? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,


I generally recommend that owners who are doing the force retrieve on their first dog either send their dog to a Pro or work under the guidance of someone who has done many dogs. If there is a retriever club nearby they usually have someone who can help.

In the mean time, you might try the following:

1. Make a "buck" out if a larger diameter item. I use a three inch wide section of PVC pipe. The larger diameter causes the dogs mouth to be open wider and makes it harder to chew.

2. If you are using a toe hitch or ear pinch when you give the command fetch, don't release all of the pressure at once. Keep very slight pressure applied once the dog has taken the buck. If the dog starts mouthing the buck, gently and calmly increase the pressure until the mouthing stops, then reduce the pressure. I would not praise here because the excitement will cause the chewing again. The key is to work calmly and slowly.

Good Luck,

Bill Corcoran
Highland Retriever Kennel
Highland Retriever Kennel

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